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Creative Commons License
Grey_Space by Creative Destruction Media LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on work at www.greyspacestories.com.

The artwork on the site is not currently permitted for use by third parties.

How to use Grey_Space case studies

Grey_Space has conducted several educational events for professionals in the Bay Area, including at local universities and venture capital firms. We have found that the following format allows participants to engage in a meaningful discussion:

  • Allow 1.5 hours for an event – 30 minutes may be used for welcome food and beverage (if applicable) and an introduction to the event’s purpose and goals. One hour is typically sufficient for a meaningful discussion of one case study.
  • Set discussion ground rules – It is helpful to remind participants that they DO NOT need to divulge personal details during the discussion. The case studies provide plenty of discussion material, and there should be no pressure to share personal stories or details with other participants. Event organizers may also request that participants DO keep any personal information voluntarily shared at their table confidential out of respect to their colleagues.
  • Create small groups of 4-6 professionals – Grey_Space content touches on sensitive material that may be uncomfortable for participants to address in a large group setting. Small groups facilitate meaningful connections and also allow enough time for each individual to have a voice in the discussion. Table assignments may be shared with participants in advance or done on the fly when guests arrive.
  • Share case studies with participants in advance – Many Grey_Space stories present complex and nuanced situations. It is optimal for participants to be given advance reading prior to the event so they have time to digest story details.
  • Provide copies of case studies at each table – Providing a copy of the case study at each table is helpful to remind participants of story details, and to serve as a reference during the conversation. For longer Grey_Space stories, we recommend using an edited version of the case study that fits within 1-2 pages for ease of navigation.
  • Provide discussion questions – Having a list of structured discussion questions will keep participants on track and help break the ice if there is hesitation to start the discussion. Please see below for sample discussion questions.
  • Optional: Provide participants with takeaways and best practices – Various Grey_Space stories contain situations that are not necessarily resolved by best practice or comply with applicable employment laws. Companies holding training events may choose to provide key takeaways to participants to emphasize company-specific HR policies or employment laws they deem applicable to the situations under discussion. Presenting these policies alongside real Grey_Space stories may help participants internalize key policy and legal compliance standards.
  • Optional: Encourage Grey_Space submissions –  If event organizers would like to collect anonymous case studies from within their organization, they may encourage participants to submit stories to the Grey_Space website. All submissions received on Grey_Space are reviewed for compliance with submission guidelines prior to posting. Typical turnaround time is 1-2 weeks.

Sample Group Discussion Questions

The questions are written to refer to one case study/story

  1. Which part of the story, if any, did you resonate with the most?
  2. What would you have done differently in this scenario?
  3. How have you dealt with situations like these in the past?
  4. What do you think was missing from this story?
  5. What do you think are the variables that most strongly dictate whether someone will face sexual harassment at work? (E.g. Industry, seniority, etc.) Or do you believe it is random?
  6. What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out your career?
  7. Do you believe it’s worthwhile for employees to report harassment to Human Resources? Why or why not?
  8. What can managers do to prevent or address the types of behaviors presented in this story?
  9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in your career?

Sample stories

The following stories have been used successfully to prompt discussion at Grey_Space events. A shortened version of each story that may be printed out for participants is also included.